Cai is now eleven and so far it has been a great journey. Before he was born I always new I would love my child but as a teacher I was never sure if I would like him. Well I am happy to report I enjoy hanging out with the guy, so it seems quite strange that I am alone in the house with my broken leg while he is gallivanting with a friend and his family in Telluride. Wow, he is skiing with someone else and he is gone for four days. Let’s put this in perspective. The boy is taking the first tentative steps on his odyssey of leaving the family unit. For more context, my leg is the result of a skiing accident, so I am currently extremely aware that things can and do go wrong. What did we do for me to feel happy for him to go on this trip?
I feel comfortable with the situation because we have put so many building blocks in place. It really does take the proverbial village to raise a child. Between the families we have chosen to be around, the schools he has attended and the values we live as a family I know he understands the consequence of actions. He knows there is behavior that brings about positive outcomes and behavior that instigates negative ones. He is aware that the outcomes do not just affect him and he likes to do right by others. I also trust that the family he is going with want to have a great time and will ensure a safe experience to make this possible. Rather like stepping into the passenger seat of a car, I believe the driver wants to come out unscathed at the end of the journey. If I do not trust the driver instead of telling them how to drive I do not get into the car!
I am proud of Cai, he is a neat young person, he reads a lot, he has started to incorporate meditation into his daily life and we have always had a family gratitude practice. These three things (reading, meditation and gratitude) mean he has the tools to use vicarious experience, he is able to observe his thoughts and reflect on what is actually happening and finally he is able to find the positive or beauty in a moment regardless of how “interesting” it is.
I am happy to let Cai flex his fledgling wings and thank you Jason for giving him this chance.
What are you going to do today to be able to give your child more freedom tomorrow?